The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s largest bilateral development agency, operating in over 125 countries and a wide range of sectors, including health, food security, microfinance, governance, counterterrorism, macroeconomic stability, trade, and transitional crime. However, the changing global development landscape presents new challenges for USAID: fewer stable low-income countries, persistent pockets of poverty in middle-income countries, concentrated poverty in fragile and conflict-affected states, expanding non-aid resources for development, and a growing focus on the importance of private investment. Amidst this backdrop, USAID must ensure its mission and operational capabilities remain relevant and up to the task.
CGD seeks to strengthen USAID’s position as a leading development agency, using rigorous analysis and strategic engagement to help inform the design and operation of agency initiatives—like Feed the Future and Power Africa—as well as the implementation of internal reforms—like the prioritization of country ownership and the institutionalization of USAID’s policy and budget functions. The US Development Policy Initiative provides concrete policy recommendations aimed at maximizing USAID’s development impact and ensuring the agency effectively responds to an evolving global development landscape.